This week’s message targets all those who inexcusably attempt to justify the widespread lack of faith in Jesus Christ, the one and only son of God almighty. This message exposes the weak minded, the spiritually immature and the intellectually challenged among us.
In a conversation with an atheist earlier this week I found myself questioning whether or not my time was being put to good use as I faced denial and spiritual ignorance beyond my own understanding. All I could think about was the catch phrase “You gotta believe in something otherwise you’ll fall for anything.”
What I tried to explain to Dennis, a bible basher from Beverly Hills, was that his not believing in Jesus Christ would result in his going to hell upon his death. Dennis claimed he would absolutely accept Christ if the Lord were to return as promised and until this happened, the critic would continue drinking, keep doing drugs and partake in orgies describing his lifestyle as a party that never ends.
The fact of the matter is eventually, Dennis’ party will in deed end. Because we are all mortal we need to face the undeniable truth that one day, you will die. On that day one of two things will happen: You will find out there is something after life or, nothing.
In the event there is nothing that follows death, enjoying life to it’s fullest makes sense. With that in mind, why not live a life full of accomplishments? That way if there is an afterlife we’ll be prepared. And when we’re at it, if we’re going to contemplate the concept of afterlife, why not look into what it involves? Finally once we know what comes after our bodies die, should we care if we’ll end up in heaven or hell?
You see Dennis is afraid to find out what happens after the party is over. Many people do. These are the weak minded individuals that are headed for hell.
The spiritually immature are believers who procrastinate and put themselves in arms way exposing their faith to temptation. This group of people may not get to fulfill their mission.
The third category of people I am preaching to involves the intellectually challenged. Either handicapped, living outside the civilized world or just plain dumb, these people were created by God and given each one a conscience to live by without excuse.
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25)
In these verses the bible teaches that all humans are born with the knowledge that they were created by a divine, supreme perfect being. Each individual is also provided with free will to either accept or deny a relationship with our creator. Through free will all men and women are able to embrace the gift of life in spite of our sinful nature. Therefore no one has any excuse whether or not they’ve heard about Christianity, about the bible or about Jesus Christ.
Free will is at the root of God’s wrath against those who deny Him. Much like Adam and Eve and the apple tree which God placed in the center of the garden of Eden, we are faced with temptation everyday. God gives us a choice and rewards those that conscientiously make the right choice.
The bible features many examples of spiritual denial through free will.
“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” (Romans 2:5-8)
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” (2 Timothy 2:10-13)
For many, free will is a curse that will lead them to eternal punishment in the lake of fire. From some, free will is in sync with divine predestination that leads to eternal rewards in heaven. Remember Matthew 22:14 “Many are called but few are chosen“. This is a result of free will and spiritual denial of Jesus Christ.
“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory.” (Romans 9:18-24)
God’s perfect grace and mercy is not random, it is precise and based on free will which is carved within our hearts before we are born. Some may interpret free will as an illusion however the bible teaches it clearly is not. We all are following a path drawn by faith or denial. No one but the father knows where this path will lead however those with faith have been given hope from God’s promise of eternal life. Therefore it is wise to believe in the eternal benefits of free will since each faith based decision allows us to mature spiritually as we get closer to rejoicing with Christ in heaven.
Let us pray for strength against temptation and for rewards that will come as a result of our free will…
We thank you for being a part of our lives
We praise you Lord for giving us free will
To serve you in this life each and every day
Through faith in your son Jesus Christ.
God we pray you will keep putting us to the test
And surround us with opportunity
To fulfill your plan for our lives
And allow us enjoy the fruit of our efforts.
We ask you to continue looking after us,
Our families, friends and those who seek you,
And provide for us like only you can.
God we thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre